Feb
18
2009

Aliens possibly on Earth. Probably among us. Certainly laying eggs in our tracheas.

Oh, that?: It's just a regular centipede. But it keeps giving your trachea hungry-eyes.
Oh, that?: It's just a regular centipede. But it keeps giving your trachea hungry-eyes.Courtesy sankax
Can you believe that?

The plural of “trachea” has an “s” at the end? What. Ever.

Oh, also, some scientists think that a good place to start looking for alien life is here on Earth.

“Alien,” in this context means “different” more than it means “from another planet.” But it might also mean “from another planet.”

Does this organization makes sense to y’all? Ahh, ok, let’s go back to the beginning.

See, like, about 3.8 billion years ago the planet was a really hot, smelly, wet place. You would have hated it. Nonetheless, some self-replicating molecules ended up evolving themselves into simple little cells. The cells probably hated it there too, but lacked the capacity to do anything about it, other than continue evolving. So they did that, and evolved into more complex cells that could deal with the environment a little better. And those things evolved into multi-cellular organisms, and those things evolved… and so forth, and so forth, until the planet had scorpions, and kelp, and people, and electric eels, and streptococcus, and a bunch of other stuff. Ta-da! And we thought that if there’s anything else alive and different in the universe, it must be on a different planet somewhere, because we’ve got tabs on pretty much everything here.

Not so, says physicist Paul Davies, not so.

If life could evolve independently under very different conditions from ours on another planet… why couldn’t it evolve independently under very different conditions here on Earth? There are areas of Earth that are extremely inhospitable to “life as we know it,” but could have hosted the evolution of a different kind of life, a “second genesis.”

Davies presents the example of lakes that have extremely high levels of arsenic. There are organisms that live in those lakes, and use the arsenic for energy, but they don’t incorporate it into themselves. It’s not inconceivable, however, that a different form of life could exist there—something that uses arsenic in the same way life (as we know it) uses phosphorus.

It’s possible that “alien” life could exist in the very same environment as us, but we have never noticed it because we don’t even know what to look for. As Davies puts it, “All our microscopes are customized for life as we know it —so it's no surprise that we haven't found microbes with different biochemistry.”

Is your mind blown? Or are you still reeling from “tracheas”?

If, then, there is a different kind of life here on Earth that we could eventually observe, the question becomes, “Where did it come from?” Rocks occasionally get knocked off Mars to fall on Earth—some microscopic life could have hitched a ride. Or did it evolve here on Earth? And, if so, would it be related at all to the rest of life? Or did it evolve completely independently from us (everything else)? Ooooh, it makes you wonder.

Scientists propose a “Mission to Earth” (er… check) to explore for new life. This either has to be a meticulous examination of “the world's most inhospitable environments—deserts, salt lakes, and areas of high pressure, temperature or UV radiation,” or we have to start looking in areas we’ve already studied by painstakingly removing everything we already know about (and only those things), a process that has been used to discover new organisms in sea water.

It’s a pretty cool new way of thinking about the search for alien life (I think the word “paradigm” is hiding around here somewhere). Bummer that it doesn’t involve space ships, but I guess we can deal with that.

Um, also, just so we’re all clear, the part about aliens laying eggs in our trachea is really unlikely. It would sort of defeat the point—that’s more of a “life as we know it” sort of thing to do.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Aliens on earth?
that is just plain dumb to me.....idk about you...but all these "new organisms" are just new organisms....don't make such a big deal about new discoveries... :\

posted on Sat, 02/21/2009 - 12:25pm
Scribblez's picture
Scribblez says:

I dont think its dumb, I think that its ligit. This is science if you dont believe it research, find out for yourself then make your opinion.

posted on Sat, 06/07/2014 - 12:03pm
97abb97's picture
97abb97 says:

i don't think that's dumb i think they are real

posted on Sat, 02/21/2009 - 5:37pm
bug's picture
bug says:

i think tat is is varry posebule but unlikely

posted on Sat, 02/21/2009 - 6:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

Of Course their are aliens on earth....who do you think your parents are???

posted on Sat, 02/21/2009 - 7:14pm
tippy's picture
tippy says:

aliens not real

posted on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 11:46am
abbeyg's picture
abbeyg says:

tippy it would be impossible foor aliens not to exist

posted on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 4:49pm
tippy's picture
tippy says:

U R right

posted on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 11:58am
Austin's picture
Austin says:

Yeah right aliens don't exist

posted on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 12:49pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

i think that it is possible for aliens to live amongst us. it would be arrogant to think that we are the only life in the multiverse. there is a large chance that in all of the worlds in the multiverse, there isn't a single other planet capable of supporting life. anyway, if they can get here from other planets, they can alter they're facial images to mimic us.

posted on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 1:47pm
abbeyg's picture
abbeyg says:

that whole "they can alter they're facial images" does not make any sense. i still belive in aliens though

posted on Sun, 02/22/2009 - 4:47pm
allan ingram's picture
allan ingram says:

jus thought id leave my opinion.i believe aliens have been among us for many years living in human form.i think and am certain that some people do lnow what they are but do not share it with anybodycus they fear.reason i say this is bcus they are more scared of us than well proberbly b of them.as soon as they let out that they are not from earth then government and scientists will b all over them like a rash doing tests against there will.y not ask them if the can test them they have jus as much right as us.jus cus there here doesnt mean its bad there jus tryin 2 survive as are we.they cudda bin sent here wen there planets got destroyed or 4 some uva reason.scientists and government dont c it this way but lets say they captured an alien.were doing teset on it autopsies the lot wots sayin that alien isnt sending out brainwave messages to another kind warning them. then they can retaliate in revenge to stand there ground.it all makes sense if government wasnt so hard on them then we cud get along as civilastion helping each other

posted on Thu, 03/05/2009 - 11:28am
lledo's picture
lledo says:

I don't believe that aliens came to earth the closest star to us is Proxima Centauri – 4.22 light years away. They would have to live a long time and they would have to travel at the speed of light and their ship would have to be very strong. And if they land here their ship would not have been destroyed on landing and we would have not been able to get them into area 51. The rocks and dust particles would have destroyed their ship while they were flying through space. Plus they would not have any reason to hide from us, if they can get here they are in no danger from us attacking them or defending our planet from them. We would be at their mercy and maybe fooooood for them.

posted on Tue, 08/04/2009 - 11:45am

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